Borough bus snub anger

Dave Culshaw
Dave Culshaw

A WIGAN campaigner is claiming Transport for Greater Manchester snubbed the borough in a consultation exercise over new bus priority routes.

Hindley’s Dave Culshaw is fuming that the body held all meetings in various locations around Manchester City Centre ... even though many Wigan people who commute into Manchester for work and play will end up using the new services.

He also points out that the borough deserves its say ... because, through the Council Tax public transport levy, residents automatically pay a share to fund it.

Mr Culshaw said: “Although promoted as Transport for Greater Manchester initative, there have been no scheduled public events beyond the city centre itself.

“Thus travellers from the ten constituent local authorities have been disenfranchised but will be expected to fund it via the levy.” In his own response to the consultation, Mr Culshaw said that he travels into Manchester from Wigan for business and pleasure at least three times a week.

But the proposals will impede leisure and business use of the city by making car use more problematical.

He has called for a return to free parking after 5.30pm as well as later running services for Northern Train services back to Wigan, particularly at weekends.

A spokesperson for Transport for Greater Manchester said it had concluded a “well tested and robust” six-week long public consultation on the proposed road changes as part of the bus priority scheme.

She said: “The one-to-one public engagement events naturally concentrated on the areas affected by the road changes proposed in the city. They gave residents and businesses – but also people working in or visiting the city centre – a chance to drop-in and speak to us in person.

“Detailed information about the scheme was also available on the TfGM bus priority website and just a phone call away on a dedicated phone line.

“The scheme and consultation was regularly publicised on Twitter and to all Greater Manchester media, including Wigan and Leigh papers and people were able to ask TfGM further questions or express their views by email or letter.

“The consultation was also publicised on city centre signs and hoardings and in thousands of leaflets distributed throughout the area while the same leaflets and advertising also featured on buses throughout the county running into the city centre.”